Things like forgetting your line in the school play, or jumping into an ice-cold ocean in January.
The day in middle school when the girls suddenly turn on you.
The night the guy doesn’t turn out to be who you thought he was.
Accidentally setting your house on fire.
The sting of clear, straight liquor.
The sting of someone leaving, when they said they never would.
Getting passed over for a job you’d be great at because you’re too young.
Being pregnant and unmarried in the South.
How judgmental people can be about baby names … actually, how judgmental people can be about everything.
The first poop after childbirth.
The sweet sounds your newborn makes in your arms.
The absolute and utter exhaustion of having a newborn.
The cruel irony of not being able to sleep when your baby finally sleeps through the night.
Feeling sad or angry or alone when you become a mom.
The first time your baby calls you “Mom” instead of “Mama”.
The last time your baby breastfeeds. (Even if you’re ready. Even if it’s later than everyone thought it should be.)
All the laundry.
Losing a baby
after two healthy pregnancies … ever.
How you feel after a wild night out in your 30s/40s/anytime after your 20s.
The moment you realize your kid is embarrassed of you.
Almost losing your mom to cancer.
Feeling helpless when your best friend loses her Dad.
The way your heart can break for the people you love.
How one minute you can think your husband is the funniest guy in the world, and the next minute he annoys you just by breathing.
The fact that marriage and parenthood are hard … even when they aren’t.
Feeling, sometimes, like you might not want to be married anymore.
Watching the first of your friends go through an actual divorce.
The moment your child rides a bike, swims without floaties or walks dangerously close to the edge of Taft Point at Yosemite.
The breathtaking wonder of Yosemite.
How much you will love your children – and the lengths you would go to prepare them for the things no one can prepare you for.